Fairfax Dog Bite Lawyers

If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a Fairfax, VA, dog bite incident, you might have options for recovering compensation for medical treatment, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages. Dog owners are responsible for following all applicable laws and keeping others safe. 

Our Fairfax dog bite lawyers from Right Path Law Group can handle your case and help you get justice. We know the applicable laws and how to use them to seek and secure compensation in these cases.

We provide a free consultation for dog bite victims in Fairfax City and other parts of Northern Virginia. Contact us today to get started.

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Why Choose a Right Path Law Group Attorney for Your Fairfax Dog Bite Case? 

At Right Path Law Group , we aim to build a solid case for each client. We understand how important your legal representation is to the outcome of your case and know that the work we do makes a difference in your life.

When injuries, expenses, and losses cause stress and hardships, we are here to help. Let us pursue the compensation you deserve based on the facts of your Fairfax dog bite case.

You can rely on our team of legal professionals to be your advocate and ally throughout the process. We know the physical, emotional, and financial harm individuals and families endure, especially following serious or catastrophic injuries. We have the experience, knowledge, and resources necessary to develop a compelling case, seek justice, and recover compensation for you.

Right Path Law Group is a contingency fee law firm. We do not ask our clients to pay any upfront fees or costs. Instead, we get paid from the money we recover for our clients. We will only ask you to pay if we secure a settlement, verdict, or other payout in your case.

Contact us today to learn more during your free case consultation.

Our Fairfax Lawyers See a Wide Range of Injuries in Dog Bite Cases

Fairfax Dog Bite Lawyers

When it comes to a Fairfax dog bite case, the injuries and damages can vary widely. The factors that could play a role in the severity of injuries include the size and breed of the dog, where on the body the dog bit, and the victim’s age and overall health.

Some common injuries seen in dog bite incidents include:

  • Puncture Wounds: Dogs have sharp teeth and strong jaws that can cause deep puncture wounds. This could lead to severe bleeding and tissue damage.
  • Lacerations: Dog bites often result in cuts and tears in the skin. Sometimes, these require surgical repair.
  • Soft Tissue Injuries: Besides tearing skin, dog bites can damage underlying tissue, including muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
  • Fractures and Broken Bones: The force of a dog bite can break bones. This is especially common in children and seniors.
  • Nerve Damage: Dog bites could cause nerve injuries. Lasting injuries could include pain, numbness, tingling, and paralysis.
  • Infections: Dog bite injuries have a high risk of infection because of the bacteria in the dog’s mouth. Complications could include cellulitis, abscesses, or sepsis.
  • Scarring and Disfigurement: Permanent scarring and disfigurement could occur from a dog bite. The face, neck, and hands are particularly vulnerable. 
  • Psychological Trauma: Dog attacks cause significant emotional distress, including immense fear, anxiety, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This may be more likely in children.

What Damages Are Available in a Fairfax Dog Bite Case?

The damages recoverable in a Fairfax, VA, dog bite claim or lawsuit depend greatly on the circumstances of the case, injuries, and costs incurred by the victim.

Some of the most common damages our Fairfax personal injury lawyers recover for clients include: 

  • Medical Expenses: Dog bite victims often incur medical care costs for emergency transportation, treatment, hospitalization, surgery, medications, and follow-up care. Some have future care needs that we must include, too.
  • Lost Income: Serious dog bite injuries often require time away from work for recovery. If lasting impairments exist, the victim might have diminished earning capacity. 
  • Pain and Suffering: Dog attack victims experience physical pain and emotional suffering. We know how to value these intangible losses and pursue compensation for them. 
  • Wrongful Death: In the most tragic cases, dog attacks result in fatalities. The victim’s estate executor can file a wrongful death action and seek compensation for surviving family members. 

Understanding the Laws That Govern Dog Bite Cases in Fairfax, VA

According to the Virginia Department of Health, children between the ages of five and nine are the most likely victims of dog bite injuries. They are also more likely to suffer severe injuries in these attacks than teens or adults. Still, anyone of any age can be a victim. Most people know the dogs that bite them.

Some shocking statistics include:

  • 61 percent of dog bites occur at the dog’s home or another familiar place
  • 77 percent of dogs involved in bites belong to the victim’s friends or family

In Fairfax, City of Fairfax Animal Control investigates animal bite reports and quarantines animals who bite someone. If you suffer bite injuries, the police or hospital will contact them about the incident to ensure they conduct a thorough investigation. You can also call them on your own if you prefer. 

When it comes to dog bite liability in Virginia, there are several ways the law views these incidents. This includes:

One-Bite Rule

Virginia continues to follow Common Law precedents for dog bite cases. This includes the one-bite rule. Under this rule, you generally cannot hold dog owners liable for their dog’s first bite. However, once a dog bites someone or shows aggressive behavior, you can hold the owner liable for any future injuries.

Local Leash Laws and Negligence

Many local jurisdictions in Virginia have leash laws. Violations of these leash laws may be an underlying element of negligence in a dog bite case. Leash laws are a part of the municipal code in Fairfax City.

Under Virginia Code § 3.2-6540, you can hold a dog owner liable for injuries or property damage if they allow their dog to run at large. When a dog is off-leash and not under the owner’s control, you can hold the owner responsible for their behavior regardless of their history.

Dangerous Dog Laws

Virginia law also holds owners of dangerous dogs responsible for that dog’s behavior. If a dog has a history of bites or attacks against people or animals, the owner must keep it securely confined and follow other protocols to reduce the risk of another incident.

How Does a Fairfax Dog Bite Lawyer from Right Path Law Group Recover Compensation?

How Does a Fairfax Dog Bite Lawyer from Right Path Law Group  Recover Compensation

At Right Path Law Group , we understand the options available for dog bite victims and their families. We generally pursue fair compensation for our clients through an insurance claim and negotiated settlement or a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. 

Generally, an insurance carrier pays for our client’s dog bite injuries and damages. Several types of insurance coverage might apply in these cases.

This could include:

  • Homeowner’s Insurance: Most homeowner’s insurance policies provide liability coverage that extends to dog bites. When a dog bite occurs on the insured property, the insurer pays for the damages incurred up to the policy limits. However, each policy differs, and there might be exclusions.
  • Renter’s Insurance: Renter’s insurance may include liability coverage for dog bite incidents on the rented property. However, this is not as common as it is for homeowner’s insurance policies.
  • Umbrella Insurance: Some dog owners purchase umbrella insurance policies for additional liability coverage. This could include dog bite injuries. 

A lawsuit may be necessary if the dog’s owner disputes liability or the insurance carrier refuses a fair settlement. 

Managing a Fairfax, VA, Dog Bite Case Is Difficult on Your Own

Managing dog bite legal cases presents many challenges, especially for victims who do not have a legal background and are still recovering from serious injuries. Numerous hurdles exist for victims or victims’ families trying to handle this process on their own. This could include: 

The Laws are Complex

Dog bite laws are often complex. Understanding the legal requirements, statutes of limitations, and liability factors is challenging for individuals without legal training.

Investigations Take Resources

The burden of proof in a dog bite case is the victim’s. To recover compensation, they must show the owner’s negligence and liability. This requires gathering evidence, interviewing eyewitnesses, obtaining documents, seeking video, and working with expert witnesses. These steps are difficult or impossible without a law firm’s knowledge, support, and resources. 

Strong Negotiation Skills Are Crucial

Dealing with insurance companies is challenging. Insurance carriers frequently try to minimize payouts or shift blame onto the victim. Knowing how to protect the right to seek fair compensation and negotiate for a maximum payout are key benefits of having a dog bite attorney handling your case. 

Valuing Damages Is Complex

Determining the extent of the damages—medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and future costs—requires a thorough understanding of personal injury law and experience in assessing similar cases that most individuals will not have.

Not All Cases Settle 

Sometimes, a fair settlement is not possible. In these cases, a lawsuit may be necessary. This requires understanding deadlines, completing and filing paperwork, and adhering to court procedures. Any mistakes in this process could jeopardize the case.

Healing Is a Full-Time Job

In addition to continuing treatment and rehabilitation from physical injuries, many dog bite victims have ongoing emotional distress and anxiety. Handling a legal case while coping with these health concerns can overwhelm you.

Given these challenges, many dog bite victims seek guidance and representation from a Fairfax City dog bite lawyer. This could greatly reduce their stress, improve their chances of recovering fair compensation, and give them peace of mind about their case. 

What Should I Expect When I Call a Fairfax Dog Bite Attorney About My Case?

As soon as your injuries are stable, we recommend reaching out to our team for a free consultation. A lot of evidence in these cases is time sensitive. We must identify and interview eyewitnesses, seek any available video of the incident, and take other steps as soon as possible. 

Here’s what to expect when you call and what will happen when you hire us to handle your case: 

  • Initial Consultation: Our team will discuss your case facts and answer your questions during your initial consultation. 
  • You Hire Us: Once you choose our attorney to manage your Fairfax dog bite case, we will go to work with no upfront fees. You will pay nothing until we close your case—and win.
  • Investigation: Your attorney investigates the dog bite incident. This involves gathering evidence such as eyewitness statements, relevant medical records, video of the incident, reports from animal control, and any available documentation of the dog’s prior bad behavior.
  • Identifying Liable Parties: Your attorney will identify all potentially liable parties, possibly including the dog owner, property owner, or any other party responsible for the dog at the time of the incident.
  • Communication with Insurance Carrier: Your lawyer will communicate with the insurance company on your behalf. This includes notifying the insurer of the claim, providing necessary documentation, and working toward a settlement.
  • Negotiation: The attorney will negotiate with the insurance company for a fair settlement. This often requires multiple rounds of negotiation. Mediation or alternative dispute resolution may be necessary in some cases.
  • Litigation: Our attorneys will file a lawsuit and litigate the case in court when necessary. This includes drafting legal pleadings, conducting discovery, and representing you in court proceedings. Throughout the trial, the attorney will advocate on your behalf and fight for a favorable outcome.

When you trust us with your case, you can expect your attorney to provide guidance, support, and advocacy from start to finish. We will navigate the complexities of your dog bite case and pursue fair compensation for your injuries and damages.

Discuss Your Fairfax Dog Bite Injuries With Our Team for Free

Pierre Prialé, Fairfax Dog Bite Lawyer

Right Path Law Group provides free legal case consultations for victims of dog bite injuries and their families. If you were hurt when a dog attacked in Fairfax City, Fairfax County, or another part of Northern Virginia, we are here to help. Let us review your case and explain your legal options. 

Call our personal injury attorneys in Fairfax at (703) 637-9999 today to get started.